Printed Page Bookshop
May 2023

Hungry for a good book?  Bibliophagia may be right for you.

     A random buffet of tasty book-related items is here presented for your consumption.
  • The British politician Augustine Birrell (1850-1933) found Hannah More's works so boring that he buried the complete nineteen-volume set in his garden.
  • Sometimes, in acts of "bibliophagia," literature has been literally devoured.  In Italy in 1370, a furious Bernabo Visconti, Lord of Milan, forced two Papal delegates to eat the bill of excommunication they had delivered to him, silk cord, lead seal and all, while the seventeenth-century German lawyer Philipp Andreas Oldenburger was sentenced to not only eat his controversial writings, but to be flogged while doing so, until he consumed every last page. 
  • Jonathan Swift, famous mostly for "Gulliver's Travels," wrote under several pseudonyms, including Countess of Fizzleerumpf, Andrew Tripe, and Lemuel Gulliver, but in sheer quantity of aliases he is beaten by Daniel Defoe (born Daniel Foe), whose 200 pen names include Betty Blueskin, Boatswain Trinkolo, Count Kidney Face, and Sir Fopling Tittle-Tattle.
  • Maureen Corrigan noted that in 1940, the year of F. Scott Fitzgerald's death, his publishing royalties totaled $13.
  • Debates about the books thought unsuitable for juvenile readers have coincided with the development of a new genre directed at them and their concerns:  Young Adult (YA) ficion is appropriately named because it often deals with issues of sexuality, relationships, and identity. S.E. Hutton's 1967 novel "The Outsiders" is often credited with inaugurating the genre and, alongside it, an ongoing and fractious reception by education boards.  By the 1980s, another coming-of-age novel, "The Catcher in the Rye," had the dual distinction of being both one of the books most likely to be taught in public schools and most frequently censored book in American schools and libraries.
  • One in every six books sold worldwide was written by James Patterson.
  • About 54% of adult Americans cannot read at a sixth-grade level.   

This Month's Puzzler

 On May 20, 1806, this man was born in London. A child prodigy, he was
raised in an atmosphere of privilege and educated primarily by his father,
a stern and demanding Scottish philosopher. At age three, he began to
learn Greek, and by age ten he was reading Plato and Socrates in the
original. As a teenager, he was inspired by the writings of Jeremy
Bentham to form The Utilitarian Society, which argued that actions should
be judged by their consequences (i.e., their utility). He went on to
become one of the most influential social and political theorists of the
19th century, best known for "Principles of Political Economy" (1848) and
"On Liberty" (1859). In an essay in the latter book, he wrote:

"A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions, but by his inaction."

Who is this man?                  (Answer below)

Puzzler answer

John Stuart Mill (If you like our Puzzler, find more on our Facebook page)
Thanks to Dr. Mardy Grothe for the use of his puzzler.  Visit him at

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